by Marilyn Meredith
Details at the end of this post on how to win ebook copies of all 3 books in this series, and a link to purchase Infernal.
Infernal: Dance on Fire By James Garcia Jr.
Review by Marilyn Meredith.
If you love horror and vampires, this is the book for you, however, it has a several different twists than most books featuring vampires.
Infernal has the addition of a major player ? the devil. Yes, the entity sometimes called Satan. He cavorts around as a well-dressed, cigar smoking human. He taunts a priest, and directs the vampires. The vampires attack a monastery and invade the Central Valley, concentrating on Clovis and Kingsburg.
Love, family and friendship are extremely important in this offering. Police Chief Michael Lopez and his wife Barbara welcome a newborn into their familial circle and all seems to be wonderful, but it isn’t long before things go horribly wrong.
Their twin son and daughter must assume the role of defender. The hierarchy of the vampires is revealed, along with the fact that loyalty is divided among their ranks. And of course, there is Nathaniel, the one vampire who doesn’t drink human blood, and of course, has a whole different goal in life than his peers.
Like action? There’s plenty as the humans battle it out with the vampires. Not an easy task, since the vampires have the devil on their side and plenty of surprises abound.
Though Infernal could also be called Christian horror, be warned, there is some sex and a bit of language, and plenty of what you expect in any book about vampires. Did I like it? Yes, of course. The author does a great job of bringing the reader into the story, you’ll love (or hate) the characters depending upon their roles.
Interview with vampire authors James Garcia Jr.
KRL: Tell us just a bit about how you came to write your first novel.
James: It all started when I discovered horror novels while in my teens. It might have been a perfect storm, really. I think I found myself in a season where I was looking for something artistic to do. I soon began penning my own tales. They were terrible, of course, but I kept working on them. Writing is a bit like golf: you hit just enough good shots to bring you out on the course again. With that early stuff, there were enough good ideas there, and certainly the fact that I could make something that I had dreamt up come to life. It took a while, but I improved and eventually the stories grew longer. It wasn’t until I graduated high school and started junior college that I began writing what would eventually become my first novel.
KRL: Why vampires?
James: That’s a very good question. I never did sit down with the notion of writing a vampire novel – and now I have three! It was a happy accident. That first book was intended to be a dark crime thriller. When the killer emerged from the shadows in an early scene, only to be revealed to be a vampire, it ended up being quite the surprise for the two police officers – as well as for the author. *laughs*
KRL: Please tell us a bit about the new book.
James: My latest novel is book three in my crossover vampire series. It is a series that takes place here in our Central Valley, and specifically in my hometown of Kingsburg. The series explored whether a vampire can be used for good. It “crosses” edge of your seat horror with Biblical themes. In this latest installment, the Devil himself has stepped out of the shadows to reveal that every evil that has come upon the “good vampire” and his extended family has come from him. He cannot stand the thought that one of his creations could be seeking God.
KRL: How did you come up with the idea for the latest book and the characters in your series?
James: The Devil actually shows up at the very end of book two, so I knew all along that he would be the central character in this one and would wreak a lot of havoc.
Once I established those original characters in book one, it has been the most natural thing for me to allow them the space to live – and see what that might look like. Book one might have taken twenty years to write, but book two only took eight months to write the first two drafts. Infernal is my longest novel, but draft one only took four months. The characters aren’t puppets to me, they’re like my children. I’ve birthed them, have let them go and for the most part I simply follow them around and write down what they do. I realize that sounds odd, but I don’t think I can explain that any better.
KRL: Why did you decide to set this series in Kingsburg?
James: I always had Kingsburg in my mind, perhaps because it was all I knew. The fictional version was going to be called Madison Heights and it was going to mirror Kingsburg completely. Since I was reading a ton of Uncle Stevie back then, it soon dawned on me that if King could write about Bangor, Maine all the time, there was nothing preventing me from writing Kingsburg.
KRL: How many books is this in this series? Will there be more?
James: This is the third book in the series. There will definitely be another; however, I could see many more thereafter, too. I’m planning on writing something outside of the series next, so we’ll have to see.
KRL: What kind of research did you do for your books?
James: I can’t wait to hit the big time so I can get a team of assistants to do my research for me. *laughs* I detest research. I just want to write. Unless I really don’t know a particular subject I just continue writing and then make sure I was correct later during editing. It works for me so far, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
KRL: What is the hardest part about writing a vampire novel?
James: Writing a vampire novel is not difficult at all for me. I have been reading dark material nearly my entire life, so it’s second nature. I suppose what’s hard is juggling the crossover aspect. I’m trying not to venture into hard R-rated material, and I don’t want to be so overtly Christian that it beats readers over the head or has too narrow a market audience.
KRL: Where can people find you online?
James: I’m easy to find. I have a new website. All of my social network links are there.
KRL: Where can people purchase your book?
James: For those who read e-books my website will point them in the right direction. Following the link to Smashwords they can get my first vampire novel absolutely free. For those who still love to hold books in their hands they can follow the links to Amazon and order paperbacks. For the locals here near Kingsburg they can visit Trinkets & Treasures in downtown Kingsburg at 1449 Marion Street. The store has been kind enough to sell my books. If there is an event in town you can bet that I will be signing copies somewhere out in front.
KRL: Do you read vampire books? If so, what is your favorite one?
James: I have read several vampire books over the years; however, my current favorite is the Blood Brothers series by Author Greg Sisco. Book one is Thicker than Water and its sequel The Wages of Sin. That guy has a magical talent. His books are not always for the faint of heart, but they are always of the highest quality, and I inhale them in hours
KRL: You also write ghost books, can you tell us a bit about those?
James: Please don’t get me wrong. I love my vampire series. However, after I had finished the second one I was very tired of the subject matter and needed something fresh. I love haunted house stories and always wanted to write one. I was only waiting until I really thought I had something special. It ended up being dark and sweet. I love romantic comedies and old classics like An Affair to Remember and Casablanca, so I ended up blending the best of all of that. And there are literally ghosts everywhere!
KRL: Any events coming up?
James: I am scheduled to be at the Kingsburg Library on Halloween morning at 11 a.m. In early November I will be at the store during Ladies Night Out. In early December you should find me at the store once again during the St. Lucia Festival.
To enter to win ebook copies of all 3 of James’ vampire books, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Infernal,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 7, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.
Check out more fantasy book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.
You can use this link to purchase Infernal: